Please see below for today’s key Brexit items:

  • Poland’s prime minister has signalled his country will back the UK on a bespoke Brexit deal, at a meeting with Theresa May in Warsaw in which he warned against “very dangerous” EU protectionism. Five senior cabinet ministers accompanied May on her visit to Warsaw, proof of the growing strategic importance of the relationship but which risked being overshadowed by the deepening rift between Mateusz Morawiecki’s administration and the EU over his government’s crackdown on judicial independence. (The Guardian)
  • Britain’s economy is closing a turbulent year on steadier ground, as households defy the biggest squeeze on disposable income in living memory, a Guardian analysis of economic news over the past month shows. In a period in which Theresa May won a deal with Brussels to move the Brexit talks forward to focus on trade, the Guardian’s monthly tracker found pockets of strength in the economy – even as businesses express increasing concerns over the size of the challenge to come. (The Guardian)
  • Secret legal advice which is believed to say that Brexit can be stopped unilaterally by Britain could be revealed, if a Commons vote is won next month. Theresa May has been accused of suppressing a formal opinion that the Article 50 notification can be withdrawn, even without Brussels’ agreement. Now two pro-EU MPs have tabled an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which, if passed, could force the Prime Minister to publish a summary of that advice. (The Independent)
  • Ireland’s Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has hinted he may refrain from tax cuts and consider increasing taxes to dampen price and wage pressures in the Irish economy and prevent it from overheating. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Donohoe said he had to ensure government spending “doesn’t accelerate economic overheating”. The warning comes amid the threat to Ireland posed by the UK’s departure from the European Union. With the second phase of London’s negotiations with Brussels on an exit deal expected to begin in March, the stakes for the Irish economy are high. (Irish Times)
  • The EU is preparing to present Britain with a skeleton, Canada-style trade deal by the early summer if the UK is unable to clarify its demands and remains in “Brexit La-La land”, according to senior European officials. The fallback plan considered by Brexit negotiators underlines the concern in Brussels, Berlin and Paris over Theresa May’s approach to future relations, which they fear will be too muddled to allow for meaningful negotiations. (FT)